LEXINGTON, Ky(Aug. 6, 2019) – Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s 4-year-old McKinzie, dominant winner of last Saturday’s Whitney (G1) at Saratoga, strengthened his lead over Thunder Snow (IRE) in the latest Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings poll, while the Whitney runner-up, Yoshida (JPN), surged to No. 3 in the standings.

Trained by three-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winning-trainer Bob Baffert, McKinzie won the 1 1/8-mile Whitney by 1 ¾ lengths for his fourth Grade 1 score in his first start since a runner-up finish in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) on June 8 at Belmont Park. A bay son of 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Street Sense, McKinzie garnered 254 votes this week, 42 votes more than Godolphin’s 5-year-old Thunder Snow (212 votes), who was scratched from the Whitney on the morning of the race due to an elevated temperature. The two-time Dubai World Cup (G1) winner will likely make his next start in the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 31.

China Horse Club International, WinStar Farm and Head of Plains Partners’ 5-year-old Yoshida, trained by Bill Mott, closed well for second place in Whitney and moved back into the Top 10 in the Classic Rankings to the third spot with 126 votes.

Another mover was Gary and Mary West’s 3-year-old Haskell Invitational (G1) winner Maximum Security (121 votes), who rose from sixth to fourth this week. Maximum Security is followed in fifth place by Charles Fipke’s 6-year-old homebred Seeking the Soul (113 votes), winner of the Stephen Foster (G2).

Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ 4-year-old Catholic Boy (102 votes), second in the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on July 6,   improved one spot to sixth place this week.

Gary and Mary West’s Game Winner (83 votes), the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion and recent Los Alamitos Derby (G3) winner moved up to seventh place, followed by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s 4-year-old Vino Rosso (80 votes), who dropped from third to eighth this week after his third-place finish in the Whitney.

Hronis Racing’s 6-year-old Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Gift Box (62 votes) is in ninth place, followed by Fox Hill Farm’s Arkansas Derby (G1) winnerOmaha Beach (59 votes) in 10th.

The Breeders’ Cup  Classic Rankings, a weekly rating of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Park, Nov. 2, are determined by a panel of leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. Rankings are announced each week through Oct. 15 and can be found on the Breeders’ Cup website along with the list of voting members. 

In the Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, each voter ranks horses by assigning their allotted votes on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system in descending order. 

Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings Top 10 – Aug. 6, 2019 * 

Rank Horse Total Votes First Place Votes Previous Week


McKinzie 254 21 1


Thunder Snow (IRE) 212 3 2


Yoshida (JPN) 126 0 0


Maximum Security 121 0 6


Seeking the Soul 113 1 5


Catholic Boy 102 1 7


Game Winner 83 0 8


Vino Rosso 80 0 3


Gift Box 62 0 10


Omaha Beach 59 0 11


*Note – The Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings have no official bearing on qualification or selection into the Breeders’ Cup Classic.


Each NBC Sports Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In – Presented by America’s Best Racing telecast will include the Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, along with commentary from analyst and poll voter Randy Moss.

Upcoming races in the Classic Division which will be televised through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series programming include the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) from Park Racing on Sept. 21; Awesome Again Stakes (G1) from Santa Anita Park and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) from Belmont Park on Sept. 28. 

The 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 ¼ miles on the main track at Santa Anita, will be televised live and in primetime on NBC. Thirteen winners of the Classic have been voted Horse of the Year.


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